S Jaishankar apprises Parliament of ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case, reiterates Centre's 'vigorous efforts' for his return

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday apprised both the Houses of Parliament regarding the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and said that the Centre will "vigorously" continue its efforts to ensure the safe return of the Indian national who is currently in Pakistan's custody.

Jaishankar, in his address to the Rajya Sabha, hailed the ICJ's order to Pakistan to review its decision to sentence Jadhav to death. He also lauded that granting of consular access to India, after the court held Islamabad guilty of violating the Vienna Convention.

"I can assure the government will vigorously continue its efforts to ensure his safety and well being, as well as his early return to India," he told the Upper House. Jaishankar said the judgment is not only a vindication for India and Jadhav, but for all those "who believe in the rule of law and sanctity of international conventions".

In the Lok Sabha, Jaishankar praised the legal team led by Harish Salve for their efforts in the case. "Jadhav is innocent of the charges leveled against him and no forced confession will change this fact. We call on Pakistan to repatriate him. I'm sure the House will join me in showing the strongest solidarity with Jadhav’s family," he said.

He also asserted that the sentiments expressed by him in Parliament were echoed by all the MPs and the "entire nation". Amid claps and thumping of desks by fellow parliamentarians in both Houses, Jaishankar said the government welcomes the world court's verdict.

The minister reiterated that the ICJ, by a vote of 15-1, upheld India's claim that Pakistan is in violation of the Vienna Convention on several counts. "The sole dissenting judge in Jadhav case was from Pakistan," the EAM asserted, adding that all others stood with India in the case.

"The ICJ has directed that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officer's access to him in accordance with the Vienna Convention," he added.

Underlining that government has made untiring efforts in seeking his release, including through legal means in ICJ, he said, "In 2017, the government made a commitment on floor of the House to undertake all steps necessary to protect interest and welfare of Jadhav and we will continue to do so."

The minister praised Jadhav's family for showing exemplary courage in difficult circumstances, assuring them his return to the country soon. Soon after the EAM concluded his speech, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu welcomed the verdict, and said it was "a major relief for India".

"I am very happy that the entire House is together in welcoming the ICJ judgment. Hope we will pursue till Kulbhushan is discharged and released," Naidu said.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 18, 2019 12:49:04 IST